The Napkings will design an automatic silverware roller that will wrap different utensils together. In the majority of restaurants, it is the server’s responsibility to prepare the silverware sets usually by hand rolling them. As a result, the task becomes extremely tedious and takes precious time away the server has with the customers. The purpose of the automatic silverware roller is to make the job of restaurant servers easier and more efficient. In order to fulfill this purpose, the roller will produce silverware sets at a consistent pace, while maintaining efficiency. The objective is for the server to only have to load the machine once with the appropriate amount of forks, knives, spoons, and cloth napkins needed for one table. From there, the machine will then be able to take one of each utensil and roll them up in a presentable manner. The process will be repeated until all of the needed silverware sets are provided. The intention is to make the machine automatic, yet also simple with little user interaction and low maintence being high design priorities. The less interaction the server has to put into the process, the more time the server can spend doing more important tasks that will improve services.
Proof of Concept
The Napkings’ automatic silverware roller targets the restaurant industry where silverware is usually rolled by waiters. With a few competitors out in the market designing similar machines, the Napkings hopes to create a quick and efficient automatic silverware roller that would save restaurants time and money. Ryan Michaelis was a server himself who understands the tedious task of rolling silverware. The experience of going through such a task allows the team to create a system that is simple and efficient for all users. Additionally, the team has analyzed different solutions from other competitors to be ready for entering the industry. Most solutions developed from other competitors are complex. Main competitors include QuiQsilver and Robowrap. The solutions develop are efficient; however, huge in size. The automatic silverware roller developed by QuiQsilver stands 5.5 feet tall and covers 36 inch by 36 inch ground area. Napkings hopes to develop a product that is smaller in size to allow easier installation for restaurants. Automatic silverware rollers are still a fairly new machine and so has not been fully incorporated into the restaurant industry. The roller developed by Napkings will hopefully be the beginning of automatic silverware rollers within the market.
The main concepts that the Napkings are trying to prove are the napkin grabber, silverware dispenser, placement roller and the napkin roller. The napkin grabber consists of an exhaust fan with a cover that has holes evenly distributed. The napkin grabber will be able to raise and lower using a pulley system. The fan will be able to suck enough air to capture one napkin. That napkin will then be raised high enough so that the corner of the napkin will catch the placement roller. That roller will force the napkin through to the other side so that it is positioned over the napkin roller. The silverware dispenser will then distribute one fork and one knife. The utensils will land on the napkin and into the silverware roller. The silverware roller will then roll the silverware completely and the rolled silverware will pop out of the silverware roller onto a ramp that will place the rolled silverware in a basket. All real-world applications were considered. This led to several modifications to the design. The Napkings decided to put a blocker so that the silverware falling from the dispenser would not shoot out further than needed. The Silverware dispenser, silverware roller, silverware grabber, and where the silverware exits were all modified for real-world application. Many of the original designs would have been slightly off and non-realistic. By modifying the parts and location, the Napkings were able to produce a model that is realistic in real-world.
- Napkin Grabber
- Napkin Tray
- Stand 1
- Placement Roller
- Stand 2
- Silverware Dispenser
- Silverware Roller
The Napkings are building an automatic silverware roller which will autonomously roll silverware into a napkin for restaurants to use. The product design specification was used to determine the final design of the team’s machine. Its use is to create silverware wrapped in a napkin without human interaction with the exception of filling the silverware racks with the appropriate utensil. The final design is split up into three different sub-assemblies: the napkin grabber, silverware distributor, and silverware roller. Each subassembly was distributed to the group with Trevor and Austin working on the napkin grabber, Lenard and Gabe working on the silverware distributor, and Ryan working on the roller function.
The first function is the napkin grabber. A fan will pick up a single napkin from a stack of cloth napkins using a reverse air flow. The fan is moved on an arm by a stepper motor, from the stack of napkins to the roller. Once the fan reaches the end of the arm, at the roller, the fan stops circulating air which causes the napkin to uniformly drop. Lastly the roller grabs the napkin from the designated drop zone and begins rolling.
The second function is the silverware distributor which is located directly on top of the roller function. The distributor’s function is to drop utensils on top of the napkin to prepare it for the wrapping process. The silverware distributor will have two racks containing forks and knives. With the use of a stepper motor, the silverware will be distributed by rotating wheels with notches. The idea is for as the wheel rotates, the notch will the thick enough to push a single utensil from the stack and force it down to fall on top of the napkin. The distributor’s body will be made of PMMA which is a type of acrylic sheet and will be connected using epoxy glue for a strong hold. As for the moving parts in the function such as the rod a wheel, these parts will be made of wood. The wood material was chosen for these parts as it is easier to cut into cylindrical shapes.
The final function is the roller which will wrap the silverware in a napkin and finish the process. This will be done by the silverware distributor dropping the silverware onto the napkin that was placed in the designated area by the napkin grabber. This process will take place directly over the roller. The weight of the silverware from free fall will push the silverware and part of the napkin into the roller. The roller is made up of three rollers all connected with a sheet of fabric. Two rollers will be stationary while one roller will move in an upside down U-shape. A motor will be connected to the rollers and rotate when prompted. This will roll the silverware in a nice tight roll. Once the rollers spin enough rotations, the silverware will be forced out of the roller and down the ramp that will lead to a basket designated for the roller silverware.
Testing and Results
Meet the Team
Born in Alameda, raised in Garden Valley California, Austin Spencer is now a Senior Mechanical Engineer at the university. Austin is a diligent, honest, hard worker, that loves working with people and seeing their strengths and ideas. After graduation, he wants to take business related classes to better understand how to manage. Austin has a great capability of mental math, engineering reasoning, and seeing the best in his peers. Most of all, Austin excels in application of the concepts that are learned in all the ME courses. Conceptual understanding and using ideas to fix problems himself is his favorite part about engineering. As well as continuing to hone his skills in the future, Austin want to continue creating and coming up with loose-leaf ideas to fix real world problems until one is promising enough to pursue. He has used the knowledge from his course to engineer many contraptions fixes to problems around his 20 acre property in Garden Valley. Additionally, Austin restored the engine, several belts hoses, a radiator, and fan in a 1965 CJ jeep with the help of online resources.
Gabriel Camacho is a 4th year student at the University of Nevada, Reno studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Gabriel was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since becoming a student at the university, Gabriel has been a part of numerous groups. The first engineering project that Gabriel was involved with and the one that was the most challenging was the creation of a hovercraft. This was the first time that Gabriel worked with an engineering group which is what made the task challenging. Everyone in the group had different decisions and ways of accomplishing tasks. However, this has allowed Gabriel to better cooperate with different student. Communication and team cooperation are skills that have been developed throughout his academic career. In capstone, Gabriel has utilized his ability to use analytical techniques to design solutions for the team project. Gabriel’s current goal is to continue with his education by applying to graduate school and hopefully graduate with a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Once Gabriel graduates, he hopes to work in a field of Aerospace.
Ryan Michaelis is a senior at the University of Nevada Reno. Ryan is majoring in mechanical engineering and hopes to be an entrepreneur in engineering based ideas that he himself has come up with. He is originally from a small farm town in Pierz, Minnesota. This has gave him a very strong background in work ethic. Ryan has been a part of many different teams in college designing and building different products that have a specific needs. This will greatly help Ryan when designing and building the automatic silverware roller. Ryan has built autonomous robots and hovercrafts that were programmed to do certain things. Ryan’s goal currently is to finish his degree. Afterwards, he will try to start his own business design and creating different things and build a successful brand name.
Born and raised in Carson City, Nevada. Trevor Sollberger is a senior Mechanical Engineering student with a minor in mathematics. Trevor has been a mechanical engineering intern at Hamilton Robotics in Reno for the last year in a half. This has provided him with knowledgeable CAD designing experience, further insight on the relationship between engineering design and manufacturing, as well as a more in depth understanding of the engineering process. Because of his passion for action sports, including mountain biking and snowboarding, when Trevor graduates in the spring of 2019, he looks forward to pursuing a mechanical engineering position within that field.
Lenard Lomugdang is a 4th year student at the University of Nevada, Reno studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Born in the Philippines, he moved to the U.S. at a very young age and grew up in Rocklin, California. Lenard has been in numerous engineering groups during his time at the university, contributing his skills and knowledge to the team. Successful projects have been the outcome of these contributions. Whether it was building a functional hovercraft or designing the fastest racecar in his class from LEGO NXTs, his ambitions to work hard show within the effort he puts in to the team. Lenard hopes to graduate in the Spring of 2019 and pursue his engineering career around the field of design and 3D modeling.